It was a lazy evening. The sun was setting, and we were sitting on the rocks, and two of my friends were debating on who was the greatest superhero – Superman or Batman?
I just sat back and smiled at their ignorance. These fellows were light years away from the truth. The greatest Superhero of all time was not some Marvel of the West. The greatest superhero was right here. Homegrown, and our very own – Shaktimaan.
Now wait, all you snobs who read this and sniggered, just you wait. In the next ten minutes, I am going to wipe that smirk off your face.
Here are some of the reasons why Shaktimaan can beat any of the others with his left hand (he is right handed) :
Powers: What differentiates a Superhero from a hero? Quite simply the superpowers they have.
The conventional superheroes have a limited set of powers that they exercise when they get an opportunity. Most of these powers are related to strength, speed, agility, or a special weapon. And here is where Shaktimaan beats the others hollow.
HE HAS GOT INFINITE POWERS.
Every episode of Shaktimaan revealed a new power. He could fly, burn metal with his gaze, crush rocks with his bare hands, among many other awesome things. Now, suppose Superman is flying to Canada to save someone. You construct a huge wall in middle. What does the Man of Steel do? Turn around and risk flying over the Bermuda Triangle. What does Shaktimaan do? He just appears there!
AWESOMENESS TEST #1: DIFFUSE A NUCLEAR MISSILE
You see, in the 21st century, you cannot fall back on your limited set of powers. You have to innovate and use your mind to work out of problems. And Shaktimaan? Unlimited powers,beat that!!
Shaktimaan propogates Indian culture:
As your parents, elders, neighbours, their elders, politicians, TV shows, films, and anyone else will tell you, what makes us the greatest nation in the world in spite of our poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and corruption, is our culture.
Now, Shaktimaan upholds Indian culture. He never does vulgar stuff (like that Superman fellow flying around in his inners) or He-Man (whose costume and bob-cut blond hair make you wonder – “Is He Man?”)
Shaktimaan was born out of the rays that came out of the foreheads of seven rishis, and hence Indian culture is inherently there inside him. He regularly chants Gayatri mantra, Om, and other such prayers on the show.
Shaktimaan does not have sidekicks and lady loves:
Even though Superman has been around for more than 50 years, the charms of a woman still make him go weak in the knees. Spiderman is a big pervert, peeping into a girl’s window in the night. Which superhero does that, man?
A superhero’s life may be awesome, but the one curse they share is that they cannot marry, start a family, and go shopping – maximum they get to kiss the girl in the end of the film, that’s all. Even though they know this, all the superheroes cannot resist the charms of a woman.
Shaktimaan? Hah! He has resisted Geeta’s charms for more than a decade now. He doesn’t indulge in love-dove(also it’s not Indian culture, ya).
Another thing superheroes suffer is sidekicks. Now tell me, if you are a superhero, why do you need a sidekick? Why not create an army then? Losers! Shaktimaan is enough by himself, ok? He doesn’t need these
daisydicks sidekicks and other distractions.
Shaktimaan has a paunch:
In India, everyone has a paunch. We are a country of extremes when it comes to body shapes – an Indian will either be stick thin, or have a paunch. Shaktimaan, who understands market dynamics (plus the whole rishi forehead – centre of knowledge thing), has a paunch, and has no qualms showing it off.
In this way, he gives hope to millions of Indians to aspire to become better, super versions of themselves. And what is this need to have abs and all, man? If you are a superhero, you anyway have superpowers. Why do you need to wake up in the morning and do pushups and crunches? Dumb fellows!
Shaktimaan is concerned about the future of the country:
Shaktimaan has a humane side. After every episode, he advices children on different subjects – like switching off fans and lights before leaving the room. His sole purpose of existence is not just victory of good over evil. He is not avenging his father’s death. He is concerned in creating good citizens for the country.
Also, in the 21st century, one cannot go about breaking bridges and buildings. One needs to think about the environment, sustainable superheroism, and limited resources. This is where Shaktimaan scores over others by a large distance.
Yeah, so ! Who is laughing now?
Unfortunately, for all his awesomeness, Shaktimaan was given a raw deal. If it was aired on BBC, we would have had aliens sitting in a dharna demanding him for themselves. Unfortunately, he was on Doordarshan.
And the world forgot about him – the Messiah of the Good, the hero with a heart, fists of steel, and at the same time a khata-peeta khaandan ka ladka.
You were not meant for this age. Your time did not respect you. On behalf of the world, the era, and all the homo sapiens of the earth, all I can say is:
Contributed by : Hriday Ranjan
Hriday Ranjan is a blogger. In happy times, he likes to eat Maa Gajalakshmi chat. During bad times, he asks for two sukhilas from Gup Chup walas. Apart from wryiding for the broken scooter he is a frequent blogger too. you can reach him here at Heartranjan